Kuthodaw Pagoda Description:
The Kuthodaw Pagoda at the base of Mandalay Hill contains one of Myanmar’s most important Buddhist texts, often called “The World’s Largest Book.”
The center point of the Buddhist temple is the 188-foot-high gilded stupa. The golden shrine is modeled after the design of the Shwezigon Pagoda near the ancient city of Bagan to the north of Mandalay.
After two stunning defeats at the hands of British colonial forces during the First and Second Anglo-Burmese Wars, King Mindon Min of Burma (now Myanmar) ordered a new royal capital to be built at the foot of Mandalay Hill in 1857. Naming the city Mandalay in honor of the holy hill that dominated the northern skyline, King Mindon ordered the construction of Kuthodaw Pagoda in 1860 as a religious merit-making endeavor.
As part of the temple’s construction, King Mindon ordered the entirety of the Buddhist Pali Canon, the oldest Theravada Buddhist scripture created in 29 BC, to be inscribed in stone slabs. The inscriptions cover 729 stone tablets front and back, and are encased in 729 white-washed stupas crowned with golden ornaments split into three distinct sections within the Kuthodaw Pagoda complex. The entire work took seven years to complete, and is often referred to as “The World’s Largest Book.”
Best Time to Visit Kuthodaw Pagoda:
The best weather to visit Mandalay falls between November and May during the temperate dry season. Seasonal rains sweep through the country between June and October restoring the parched land after the warm temperatures of the dry season.
How to get to Kuthodaw Pagoda:
The Kuthodaw Pagoda’s location at the base of the holy Mandalay Hill means the shrine is heavily visited by both pilgrims and travelers. The marble inscriptions of the Pali Canon are a unique sight that should not be missed while exploring the former royal capital of Mandalay.
Kuthodaw Pagoda Highlights:
The Kuthodaw Pagoda is at the base of Mandalay hill on the northern edge of the city of Mandalay. Guests on our luxury tours of Myanmar reach Mandalay by direct flight from Yangon. Once in the city, our guests are chauffeured in a private vehicle between Mandalay’s sights.
A very active Buddhist shrine and temple complex, Kuthodaw Pagoda requires visitors to dress in modest clothing that covers their arms, shoulders, and legs. Areas within the compound may also require guests to remove their shows before entering.